Bottom line: Jurassic World Aftermath part 2 picks up right where part 1 left off, barely escaping the cutches of Blue the Indoraptor and off to finish the mission you began in part 1. Will you make it off the island, or are you destined to become dino dinner?
- Excellent graphics and presentation
- Top-class voice work
- Fun new puzzles
- Incredible scenery
- Dinos are scarier than ever
- Lots of accessibility options
- Sparse level interaction
- Highly linear
At the very tail-end of 2020, Oculus Studios released one of my favorite VR games of the year, Jurassic World Aftermath. While the game wasn't without its faults, it was one of the strongest examples of a game that makes the most sense in VR. After all, hiding from dinosaurs — just raptors in the first game — is absolutely terrifying and wouldn't give you that sense of terror without being in the world.
Nine months later, developer Coatsink delivered Jurassic World Aftermath Part 2, the direct follow-up to the cliffhanger ending of the first part. Instead of being a free addition, Coatsink is charging $15 for the game — a $10 price reduction over part 1 — much to the chagrin of some players who didn't notice the buy button for the expansion pass upon the original's release.
In part 2, you'll not only complete the story that began with you unceremoniously crashing onto Isla Nublar, but you'll also encounter more than just raptors this time around, solve new types of puzzles, and visit fantastic environments that are as beautiful (and non-interactive) as the first part's. It's a solid follow-up that doesn't change the core dynamics but offers enough additions and challenges to keep you crawling along for the ride.
Disclaimer: This review was made possible by a review code provided by Coatsink. The company did not see the contents of the review before publishing.
Jurassic World Aftermath Part 2: What makes this a great expansion
While you'll need to own part 1 and have to shell out $15 for part 2, you won't need to have a completed save file to begin part 2. This is a massive improvement over games like Star Wars: Tales from the Galaxy's Edge, which require you to have a completed save file to start the DLC.
|Category||Jurassic World Aftermath Part 2|
|Title||Jurassic World Aftermath Part 2|
|Platforms||Oculus Quest, Oculus Quest 2|
|Play Time||4-5 hours|
That's particularly problematic on a device like the Quest or Quest 2 when there are several months between content releases because save files are deleted when a game is uninstalled. It's unreasonable to design a game without taking these platform issues into consideration, and Coatsink was smart to not force players into playing through the first part all over again.
As in the original, you'll play as repair technician Sam, who is stranded on Isla Nublar with only the injured Dr. Mia Everett holed up in a safe house somewhere on the island. As you have just barely managed to escape Blue and her companions at the end of the last episode, you finally learn that it's Blue's DNA you've been after the entire time.
The turn of events that leads to this revelation is narrated by none other than Jeff Goldblum, reprising his role as Ian Malcolm from the films. As always, Goldblum gives a superb performance — even if it is just his voice — and helps fill in some of the more mysterious bits of the story.
While I haven't been a fan of the Jurassic World movies, I love the overall universe and lore and have found myself enjoying spin-off series' like Camp Cretaceous on Netflix. Aftermath's story ends up playing perfectly into that world and even takes plenty of story hints and clues from Cretaceous.
Toward the end of part 1, things began to feel repetitive but ended just in time before I found myself getting bored with the mechanics. Part 2 adds a slight layer of complexity to the formula but doesn't stray too far from the original mechanics.
The familiar feel only lasts around 45 minutes until you get into what feels like truly newly minted content, encountering other types of dinosaurs — meaning, not raptors — and completely different puzzle types that are mechanically completely different from the Simon Says style puzzles in the beginning.
Unlike part 1, part 2 changes scenarios up the more you trek along with the story. What was just running from raptors and pressing buttons turns into popping open locks, feeding a triceratops, and narrowly escaping the clutches of a T-Rex as it looms overhead the disheveled mail room.
Puzzles are also a bit more complex this time around. For example, routing packages through areas with no power require you to backtrack and keep track of cable positions, rerouting power to the proper place, and flipping switches to move the cargo along.
Just about every plan you undergo gets foiled at some point during execution, a tactic that I knew was coming but kept me interested nonetheless.
I do hope we get more stories in this fashion in the future because the concept and mechanics are extremely well-executed, and I can see the improvements in Coatsink's formula in just the nine months that it took to make the second part.
I also admire how much work Coatsink put into the accessibility options of the game. Crouching most of the game made my neck hurt, but clicking in the right stick to virtually duck gave me a break. That also makes it possible to play while seated, which is something not always possible or comfortable with every VR game.
Jurassic World Aftermath Part 2: What could use improvement
While part 2 did a great job in mixing up puzzles and adding in much more environmental variety, there's no escaping the fact that most of the environments are simply works of art to traverse through. Like a museum, you'll be admiring the visuals as you make your way through each section but aren't allowed to touch, well, basically anything that isn't a part of the story.
Some of the mechanics are also a bit simple for my liking. For example, there's no inventory management, and you won't even need to remember keypad combinations as the game simply paints them on the wall above when you learn of the combo from an email or other part of the dialog.
Simplicity is certainly going to be a positive for some folks, especially if they're overly stressed by the dinos lurking around every corner. Still, I'd love to see more interaction and less hand-holding in future installments.
One of my complaints revolves around me being a Jurassic geek and wanting to see more of the island than the game allowed. One particular marketing campaign made me think we were going to see some of the more unique experiments from the Camp Cretaceous show, but, alas, that wasn't the case. Maybe in the future?
Jurassic World Aftermath Part 2: Should you play it?
4 out of 5
Jurassic World Aftermath part 2 is a direct continuation after the cliffhanger ending of part 1. As with any good Jurassic story, there's both finality and ambiguity, leaving plenty of room for parallel stories or continuations in the future. Jurassic World might be a wreck, but it's clearly still worth talking about.
While the newness of the formula has worn off, developer Coatsink did an excellent job of introducing several new puzzles and gameplay elements that change up the core gameplay enough to keep players interested. I wish we saw a bit more of the other dinos in the story, but I was happy that they were there to break up the action a bit more. As it stands, this was another excellent 5-hour adventure that kept me glued to my headset the entire time.
Jurassic World Aftermath Part 2
Bottom line: Jurassic World Aftermath part 2 finishes the story from the first part, as you might expect, but it also adds in brand new puzzles, more environmental variables, and a few new dinos to keep the action fresh. Better yet, you won't need to have a completed part 1 save file to start part 2.
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